We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Blossoms and Shadows | [Lian Hearn]

Blossoms and Shadows

Japan, 1857. For centuries, Japan has been on its own; isolated by choice from the rest of the world. But the Western powers are now at its shores, demanding to be let in; the government is crumbling, and revolution is building. The age of the samurai is ending and in its place a new Japan will be born. And a young woman is readying herself for marriage in this, the most tumultuous period of her nation's history.
Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Japan, 1857. For centuries, Japan has been on its own; isolated by choice from the rest of the world. But the Western powers are now at its shores, demanding to be let in; the government is crumbling, and revolution is building. The age of the samurai is ending and in its place a new Japan will be born.

A young woman is readying herself for marriage in this, the most tumultuous period of her nation's history. The daughter of a doctor, Tsuru has been working alongside him and learning the ways of medicine all her life. When her father allows her to marry the man she loves, a fellow doctor, she believes her life will be all she's dreamed it could be: happily married, working amongst men as an equal.

But Japanese society does not work this way. The men of the times - boys she's known since childhood - are determined to expel the foreigners, using violence and whatever else they need to make their message heard. The women are expected to be hidden at home, or behind the paper walls of the tea houses. Tsuru is far too able to accept this, and she is drawn into a shadowy world of subversion, political intrigue, and a dangerous love. In time, she is working on the battlefields, alongside men, to care for the wounded.

Blossoms and Shadows is a compelling tale of love and war, women and men, and the rise of modern Japan. It shines a brilliant light on a time in history that few have known about until now, though the change it brought continues to ripple around the world.

©2011 Lian Hearn (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (125 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
3.2 (96 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (10)
Story
3.7 (94 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mary Catherine NC 03-04-12
    Mary Catherine NC 03-04-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    310
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for anyone that liked the Tales of the Otori"

    I was very excited the learn that there was a new book by this author, but very disappointed when I listened to it. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I didn't care it I finished it or found out what happened to any of the characters. I loved the Otori series and recommended the books to many members of my family, young and old - everyone enjoyed the series. I just didn't get this book - a time or two I thought it might pick up and be interesting, but it didn't go anywhere.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay SAUGUS, MA, United States 01-19-12
    Jay SAUGUS, MA, United States 01-19-12 Member Since 2005

    Warcraft Addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    193
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fans of the Otori do not bother with this."
    Would you try another book from Lian Hearn and/or Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

    I loved the first three books of the Otori Series so I picked this up.


    What could Lian Hearn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I appreciate character driven narratives, but there was no story. You would think incest and transvestites would be interesting....


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

    The narration was monotonous, almost anyone would have been better.


    What character would you cut from Blossoms and Shadows?

    All of them. This story did not need to be told.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had these 17 hours of my life back. I kept waiting for something to happen. Sadly the interesting part of this story, the fight for Japan to free itself from foreign dominance is secondary. Think Gone with the Wind without any reference to the civil war.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Trupiano Abiquiu, NM USA 12-10-11
    Martha Trupiano Abiquiu, NM USA 12-10-11 Listener Since 2004

    book reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painful"

    I read all of Hern's previous work and they were strong stories with poetic beauty. This book is awful, no story line, and a poor female reader. If I had not purchased the book before it was reviewed I would not have bought it. Be warned this is not good.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Bellevue, WA, United States 12-05-11
    Dan Bellevue, WA, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    424
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Makes history dull"

    I enjoyed Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series but am very disappointed in this new book. The Mieji reformation was the birth of modern Japan and must have been a time full of larger than life characters and exciting stories, but you would never know it from this book. This book has several flaws - 1) the characters develop very slowly or not at all, 2) most of the multiple threads of narrative are very superficial and 3) there is a huge cast of named Japanese characters, historical and geographical references that would be difficult to follow even with a glossary of Japanese terms and maps . But the fatal flaw is the lack of a compelling story. The performance was probably good but hard to judge because of my negative feelings for the book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy S. Scott 11-22-11 Member Since 2003

    stacy@metamet.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as previous books"

    I loved her tales of the otori series. Maybe that set my expectations to high for this book. I have finished part 1 and am on to part 2, and so far nothing has happened. There is no chemistry no pop, no wonder. Just plodding. It's almost just a character study. If you get this book do not expect to find the wonder, mystery and magic of her other books. I was very disappointed. If I could afford to not listen and get something else I would.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana Kettering, OH, United States 05-13-12
    Jana Kettering, OH, United States 05-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoyable"

    I enjoyed this book and felt that I learned things about the Japanese culture, but it was not as good as Liam Hearn's trilogy.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Kragh denmark 08-09-12
    L. Kragh denmark 08-09-12 Member Since 2011

    lokra

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit confusing"
    Would you try another book from Lian Hearn and/or Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

    maybe


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    no comments


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Allison Hiroto and Marc Vietor ?

    sure


    Was Blossoms and Shadows worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Right, I read in some of the reviews for the book, and it seems, that there's a list of characters etc. in the book. I really miss that in the audiobook! I've given up trying to follow any other than the 4-5 main characters, as the huge amount of Japanese lords, young soldiers and domains get mixed up for me!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Silver Springs, NY, United States 05-29-12
    Donald Silver Springs, NY, United States 05-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Worth Time or Money"

    Although I have enjoyed other books by this author this book was not (in my estimation) worth my time or money.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.